Minister Kenney addresses skills shortages in Canada's chemical industry

Oct 24, 2013, 12:00 ET from Employment and Social Development Canada

OTTAWA, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - In a keynote speech today, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, emphasized the importance of the chemical industry to the economy and its potential to offer highly-skilled, well-paying jobs to young Canadians.

In his speech Minister Kenney highlighted measures the government is taking to ensure Canadians can get the skills and experience they need to help address skills shortages, including the Canada Job Grant, immigration reforms, and other investments in training.

"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Kenney. "Our government is committed to fixing the skills mismatch in Canada where we have too many Canadians without jobs and too many jobs without Canadians."

Minister Kenney also highlighted the benefits of the recent Canada European Union Free Trade Agreement to the chemical industry and the thousands of Canadians it employs. The chemical industry is Canada's third-largest exporter of manufactured goods with over $30 billion in exports last year alone. The benefits of the Canada European Free Trade Agreement are equivalent to creating almost 80 000 new jobs or increasing the average Canadian household's annual income by $1,000.


Economic Action Plan 2013

Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to equip Canadians with the skills and training they need to fill skills shortages and succeed in the Canadian labour market. These include the Canada Job Grant, which will invest in skills training for unemployed and underemployed Canadians, better ensuring they are qualified to fill the high-quality, well-paying jobs that are available. Economic Action Plan 2013 is also creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups such as Canadians with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth. 

Youth Employment Strategy

The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. With annual funding of approximately $300 million, YES helps youth—particularly those facing barriers to employment—obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed. YES includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which creates thousands of job opportunities for students every summer. Since 2006, the Youth Employment Strategy has helped more than 555 000 young people develop skills, to the benefit of the Canadian economy.

Canada Job Grant

The Grant will provide $15,000 or more per person, including a maximum $5,000 federal contribution and matching contributions from provinces, territories and employers. Businesses with a plan to train Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job Grant. Upon full implementation, nearly 130 000 Canadians each year are expected to be able to access the training they need to obtain gainful employment or improve their skills for in-demand jobs. The Canada Job Grant will be introduced in 2014-2015 as part of the renewal of the Labour Market Agreements.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada